View Full Version : Any info on this rabbit-eared Riverside Arms double barrel?-Warning, lots of pics
January 7, 2007, 09:42 PM
I went to visit the folks this weekend and came back with my great grandfather's old shotty. This thing has seen some serious use. It's not pitted at all, and has a nice patina, but the stock is cracked where my grandfather pulled both triggers at the same time. The action still works and neither of the firing pins is stuck. It's been passed down through four generations now and was wondering if any of you fellas had any idea on the year of manufacture.
Is Riverside Arms the forefather to Stevens?
And there aren't any serial numbers, just a set of these matching numbers..."9692" on the fore-stock, and on the breech face.
I don't think I've ever seen hand-cut checkering actually completely worn down. It's completely smooth, and you can definately tell it was hand-cut.
And I would actually feel comfortable shooting it if it wasn't so mangled. I'd hate to replace the split stock, since it has my great grandfather's initials carved into the left side. It's a crude carving, so I guess he did it when he was a kid.
I guess all I would like to know is the model number(or name), and the approx. date of manufacture.
January 8, 2007, 02:52 AM
RIVERSIDE ARMS Co
Trade name used by Stevens Arms Co
January 9, 2007, 07:17 AM
I have a riverside double .It is a hammerless, but on mine if you take the barrels off, it has the ser. no. stamped on the action under the barrels. Don't know if youre does, but you might take a look. hope that helps, mike sorry ,I didn't wait for all the pics to down load. see you've already been there.
January 9, 2007, 07:36 AM
This gun, in my opinion, was probably made prior to the Stevens take over of Crescent Firearms, or made by Stevens on the Crescent "Last". Stevens made a lot of the Crescent guns after they took it over.
This Company mfg’d good quality, inexpensive side by side and single Bbl shotguns and was founded in 1883. They were bought by the H&D Folsom Arms Company of New York, importers and distributors of firearms and sporting goods.
After the purchase of Crescent, the Folsom Company was able to offer a complete range of shotguns, imported English French, Belgium and American made Crescents. By the turn of the century Crescent Arms produced huge quantities of “Hardware Guns” it produced guns under direct contract to distributors, mail order housed and hardware distributors with any brand name the customer requested. Crescent also produced guns for its parent company, as Folsom house brands that were sold to customers that did not want their own brand name.
By the lat 1890's Crescent was producing basically five grade of dbl bbl shotguns offering a model for most tastes. The Crescent /Folsom Arms Company continued this type of business until 1930 when it merged with Davis Warner Arms Corp and became the Crescent-Davis Arms Corp. In 1932 it assets and machinery were bought by Stevens Arms Company, a victim of changing tastes and the depression.
February 24, 2008, 07:57 PM
Hey, I know this is an old thread, but I recently got a shotgun pretty much identical to the one above.
Unfortunately, it has a "Damascus" barrel which I understand will probably blow up and kill me if I tried to shoot it. It has some other minor problems (hammers a little loose, etc). It has been re blued, but the stock is not refinished because it's worn down but in excellent shape. Can I get a new barrel for it? Can this gun ever be made to fire, or should I just keep it as a wallhanger?
February 24, 2008, 08:17 PM
Get the barrels checked out by a competent gunsmith. If the barrels are ok get the hammers tightened up and fix whatever other problems it has and it'll be safe to shoot with light loads as long as you use shells of the proper length. I'm assuming it's a 12 gauge so it's probably chambered for 2 1/2 or 2 5/8 shells. Remember shot shells are measured after they're fired, not before. Just because an unfired shell will easily chamber doesn't mean it's correct.
February 24, 2008, 08:26 PM
What if the barrels aren't good - I'm probably up a creek then, aren't I...
February 24, 2008, 08:38 PM
Probably, but you have a nice wall hanger.
February 25, 2008, 06:39 PM
Just an FYI, in case anybody else comes along looking for parts for this gun, I found a site that has parts for "Riverside Double Barrel Shotgun". It does not have model numbers on the parts, at least the online catalog doesn't (the $30 print catalog might) - However, for my particular problem with needing a new barrel, there were only two models of Riverside, one with exposed hammers and one without. The barrel ( a little over $80) ought to go on either one shouldn't it?
Anyway, here's the site. I tried to call their 800 number to ask some questions but haven't gotten through yet. I'm not going to order anything till I make sure I'm looking at the right parts.
February 25, 2008, 07:27 PM
the $30 print catalog might)
I think you misread that. Catalog #30 is 16.95.
I've got a Riverside Hammerless and it's a dang fine gun.
February 26, 2008, 01:31 PM
Some more info. I don't think Riverside was a Crescent brand, but the guns were in the same category, plain utilitarian shotguns.
I notice that that site says they were made until "1988" which is almost certainly a mistyping.
February 26, 2008, 03:57 PM
Actually, I think what the writer meant to convey was that such utility shotguns were made under the name of Riversides parent company Stevens (even after being bought out by savage) until 1988.
February 26, 2008, 04:38 PM
Actually Riverside was a company itself until Stevens bought them out around the turn of the century.
February 27, 2008, 01:21 PM
And then Savage bought Stevens out in 1920.
March 14, 2008, 11:01 PM
Well, I got the verdict back from the gunsmith.
He said the barrel I have is NOT Damascus - however, it is severely rusted on the inside back near the breach (you can't really see it well but you can feel it with your fingers) so if I shot it, even with light loads, it would blow up.
There is also some mixed news along with that - he said that even if I did find a barrel that would fit it (which was not that likely) it probably wouldn't be in any better shape because it would probably be as old as the one thats on it - He dated the gun circa 1870s.
So even if I could find original parts that would put it in working order, I probably wouldn't shoot it.
Expensive wall hanger it is.
April 5, 2008, 02:09 PM
i have the same gun, my great grandfathers, as the one pictured above with the rabbit ears but an earlier serial number starting with 68 any idea about a date on it???
J F Cooper
April 6, 2008, 05:10 PM
Those Riverside hammer guns are later than 1870, probably 1900 to 1920. All my sources say Riverside was a House name of Stevens, rather than an Independent company.. JFC
Michael & Tanner
May 9, 2008, 05:53 PM
I, too, have a rabbit ear 16g Riverside Arms SxS. I shoot it almost weekly, and, although I *do* get some odd looks at the range, it's been a great little gun.
For the price, I think they are hard to beat.
Just my $0.0195
Michael & Tanner
May 11, 2008, 01:43 PM
what about adapter cartridges.say a 20 in a 12.also there is a adapter muzzle
loader for 12 ga I have one.put the adapter in the chamber and close gun and load like a muzzele loader,then open and place shot gun primer in adapter.
July 11, 2008, 07:54 PM
Hi, my name is Sebastián, I'm from Argentina and I have exactly the same 16 Ga. Riverside SxS (SN: 12742). The legend "PAT FEB 10 1914" can be read on a side of the chrome plated main block.
I inherited it of my grandfather, he bought it used near 1950 when he come from Italy, it has a great sentimental value for me and I use it eventually sometimes.
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